View Full Version : Please help me identify a very early text-mode game

February 28th, 2011, 11:45 AM
What I'm looking for is the name of an early text-mode scroller that most probably predates the IBM PC. I remember seeing what seemed to be a compiled-BASIC version of the game on some web site some time ago. It could have been programmed in BASIC under CP/M before being compiled for DOS.

Basically, the game play was that you had to move a kind of ship down a tunnel into the earth. It looked like this:

************* *****************
************ ******************
*********** V *******************
************ ******************
************* *****************
************** ****************
*************** ***************
************** ****************
************ ******************
*********** *******************
************ ******************
************ ******************
*********** *******************
********** ********************

As new lines of text were printed, the display scrolled, creating the impression that your ship was moving down the tunnel. You probably had to avoid some obstacles as well. I can't remember whether it was a shooter.

Does that sound any bell to you?



February 28th, 2011, 12:33 PM
this sounds like a game called "pit fall". Not the classic atari 2600 avoiding crocodiles pitfall! naturally.
I have a copy or five-shoot me a PM if you can't find it.

February 28th, 2011, 12:45 PM
The problem with your description is that there were dozens of games that look and play in the same way. Magazines like COMPUTE! would publish readers' listings of your favorite starfield / racing / downhill skiing game that in practise were the same except for graphics. Actually several of us could develop a game that features the same gameplay within an hour or less of programming.

February 28th, 2011, 12:55 PM
Yes, Pitfall, that's it! Thanks, dude. I do have a copy; I just couldn't remember the name, and this is probably because the name Pitfall is associated with Atari's game in my brain.

February 28th, 2011, 01:08 PM
@Carlsonn: I am aware that several games were developped around that concept. However, correct me if I'm wrong, but few of them actually made it to the PC. I am also aware that it wouldn't be very hard to program.

Which leads me to the next question: Do you know of any similar game for the TRS-80, PET, Apple II or C64?

March 11th, 2011, 12:36 PM
Thanks for bringing this subject up!!

Its been decades since I played a text adventurer type game.

I just installed zork1 on my 8086 deskpro last night and I'm currently lost in a maze !! :)

March 11th, 2011, 07:18 PM
hehe... I actually installed the Zork Anthology on my Model 30 286 the other night for the exact same reasons :) I keep meaning to play those games, as I was a toddler when they were all the rage, but I've just never taken the time!

Though maybe for authenticity's sake, I should have brought out my C64 and Zork copies... or at least installed the Anthology on a more vintage machine... but eh :)